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Old 11-18-2008, 09:07 PM   #31
the_cave
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You seem to be completely ignoring the part where I suggested that Origen misremembered the people blaming the war on the death of James from the people blaming another war on the death of John the baptist. Between these two texts (Hegesippus and Josephus on John), what remains?
Actually I don't see you saying that anywhere; I assumed you meant Origen was combining parts of Ant. xviii with Hegesippus, not conflating them. I assumed the real confusion was over Josephus' treatment of James, not John, i.e. over Ant. xx, where Josephus also lays his own blame for the fall of Jerusalem (apparently on internal struggles between different priestly factions, among other things, though he seems willing to blame it on the adoption of linen vestments by the priesthood!)

I can imagine Origen getting two texts about James confused, but it's hard to imagine him confusing a text about James with a text about John. It's conceivable, but difficult.

In fact, it looks like Origen must be confusing three texts in one, not two. He says that Josephus did not belive in "Jesus as the Christ". But I assume he is referring here to the statement in War, not Ant., that Vespasian was the Messiah. So Origen is conflating not only Ant. xviii and Hegesippus, but also BJ vi. This is getting a little complicated...if you throw in Ant. xx, then you could even say that Origen is conflating four texts, which strains credulity a little.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:23 PM   #32
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Rivka Nir, Open University of Israel
Josephus on John the Baptist: A Christian Interpolation? (20 min)
On the basis of these arguments, it might be preferable to suggest that a Christian gloss about the religious significance of Baptism has become interpolated in a basically authentic account of John the Baptist by Josephus.
She seems to be making claims against the essence of John's innovation, baptism, as though it is christian, or at least not possibly Jewish.


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Old 11-18-2008, 09:58 PM   #33
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SBL is in Boston this year:

http://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/Con...x?MeetingId=12

I notice that there is a section on "Historical Jesus," but it doesn't look like one of the most interesting even for that topic, compared to "John, Jesus, and History" or this from "Josephus":

Rivka Nir, Open University of Israel
Josephus on John the Baptist: A Christian Interpolation? (20 min)

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Originally Posted by abstract
The consensus among scholars today is that the passage in Josephus about John the Baptist, AJ 18.116-119, is authentic. In this paper I challenge this consensus, and argue that the passage is a Christian interpolation reflecting an internal Christian dispute concerning the questions—

1) Is remission of sins the result of immersion in water or is it achieved by spiritual purification prior to immersion?

2) What is the role of bodily purity in Christian baptism?

Judaeo-Christian movements, to which I maintain the author of the passage belonged, retained the Jewish principle of immersion for bodily purity, but with it emphasized penitence, the Christian requirement for remission of sin.

Details of the passage also indicate Christian interpolation.

1. The epithet assigned to John, "the Baptist," and the terms the author uses for immersion (baptismos, baptisis) are taken from the Christian theological vocabulary.

2. The call to "join in baptism" suggests a mass collective immersion, an initiation into a new community, like Christian baptism, and, as in the case of Christian baptism, there is preaching and exhortation for it.

3. The expresssion "acceptable to God" associates immersion with the sacrificial rite in the Temple, which, like Christian baptism, it replaces.

4. John's baptism cannot be the Jewish Pharisaic immersion, the Essene immersion, or that of Bannus, for though in all of these the immersion is for purification of the body, none of these immersions has anything to do with repentance and spiritual purity, nor do they atone for sin.

Finally, I argue that Origen did not have the Josephus passage as we have it. The first reference to it is in Eusebius, and the interpolation must have been made at about or shortly before his time.

??? I don't get it. In my view baptism has nothing to do with bodily purity nor spiritual purification or Catholic water would never do and as it is only Catholic water will do. It is a sacrament that has power of its own (sic) that is beyond discourse but is wherein the mystery of faith is contained.
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:32 AM   #34
Ben C Smith
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Actually I don't see you saying that anywhere; I assumed you meant Origen was combining parts of Ant. xviii with Hegesippus, not conflating them.
Unless there is some secret meaning to the verb conflate of which I am unaware, conflation is combination.

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I assumed the real confusion was over Josephus' treatment of James, not John, i.e. over Ant. xx, where Josephus also lays his own blame for the fall of Jerusalem (apparently on internal struggles between different priestly factions, among other things, though he seems willing to blame it on the adoption of linen vestments by the priesthood!)
I am saying (and this is not original to me) that Origen incorrectly got the bulk of his citation from Hegesippus instead of from anything in Josephus. I am also saying that one detail (the people blaming a war on an execution) came from misremembering a different part of Josephus, that on John the baptist.

In this scenario, nothing remains to be explained... except that line brother of Jesus called Christ, which I had not yet mentioned on this thread, and which I really do not want to go into this time round. That is the part from Antiquities 20 that may also have created this reference, but I had not mentioned it on this thread until this very paragraph.

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I can imagine Origen getting two texts about James confused, but it's hard to imagine him confusing a text about James with a text about John. It's conceivable, but difficult.
I do not think the bit about the people blaming a war on an execution came from his confusion over the text itself, as if it lay open before him. I think it came from confusion in his memory of or notes on the text. I think he was paraphrasing or summarizing Hegesippus and, where Hegesippus had linked the war to the execution in a post hoc ergo propter hoc fashion, Origen (legitimately) made the connection more direct and (illegitimately) attributed the connection to the people. I am saying that I think the most likely source for this connection to the people arose from a hazy recollection of the John the baptist passage in conjunction with the Hegesippan emphasis on the people.

It is also possible that Origen found all of this in some misattributed catena or summary of Josephus; if so, I am simply identifying where the elements of this passage came from.

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In fact, it looks like Origen must be confusing three texts in one, not two. He says that Josephus did not belive in "Jesus as the Christ". But I assume he is referring here to the statement in War, not Ant., that Vespasian was the Messiah. So Origen is conflating not only Ant. xviii and Hegesippus, but also BJ vi. This is getting a little complicated...if you throw in Ant. xx, then you could even say that Origen is conflating four texts, which strains credulity a little.
I disagree with this. Origen is not confusing any fourth text with his James text; he is summarizing Josephus as a whole; that he may have gotten this notion at least partially from the Vespasian passage (or, as has been suggested, possibly from a negative version of the TF) is not the same as confusing this text with the James passage.

And, again, I do not think he has the remaining three texts in front of him. I think he has either faulty notes or faulty memory. This kind of confusion requires no special explanation; I have seen it happen on this forum, for example. We may see the same sort of conflation or perhaps exaggeration in John Malalas, too:
And from that time the destruction of the Jews began, just as Josephus the philosopher of the Hebrews wrote down these things, having said this also, that from when the Jews crucified Jesus, who was a good and just man, if indeed it is necessary to call such a one a man and not God, trouble never left the land of Judea.
Or consider Andreas of Jerusalem:
But Josephus the Jew also records in the same way that the Lord appeared with joined eyebrows, beautiful eyes, a long countenance, humped over, well grown.
This physical description of Jesus is evidently taken from a series of patristic texts. Lots of things were attributed to Josephus.

Ben.
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Old 11-19-2008, 08:00 PM   #35
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Unless there is some secret meaning to the verb conflate of which I am unaware, conflation is combination.
I meant more than a simple combination--I didn't assume that Josephus was conflating passages at all (i.e. confusing them as a single passage)--I thought he was just referring to one here, to another there. Intending to refer to more than one passage, and conveying that to the reader. Whereas you seem to be suggesting that he was in fact interleaving vague memories of more than one into a single, nonexistent passage--that's conflation!

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In this scenario, nothing remains to be explained... except that line brother of Jesus called Christ, which I had not yet mentioned on this thread, and which I really do not want to go into this time round. That is the part from Antiquities 20 that may also have created this reference, but I had not mentioned it on this thread until this very paragraph.
I know--I was saying that if that was the source of Origen's statement, then he was sampling Josephus in multiple locations--but I assume he just got this from Galatians.

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and (illegitimately) attributed the connection to the people. I am saying that I think the most likely source for this connection to the people arose from a hazy recollection of the John the baptist passage in conjunction with the Hegesippan emphasis on the people.
Alright, though this is then an argument, I think, for the basic authenticity of the JtB passage in Ant. xviii. Or at least of the simple statement that Josephus describes a John who was a baptist, whom Herod beheaded, and that the people blamed Herod's defeat by Aretas on his beheading.

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(or, as has been suggested, possibly from a negative version of the TF) is not the same as confusing this text with the James passage.
We should note that if Josephus had not read War (which he nowhere actually says he has) then either the TF or the "Jesus called Christ" line in Ant. xx (or both) must be authentic. Because otherwise there is no reason for Origen to say Josephus didn't believe in Jesus as the Christ--unless he was just referring to the fact that he was Jewish.

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And from that time the destruction of the Jews began, just as Josephus the philosopher of the Hebrews wrote down these things, having said this also, that from when the Jews crucified Jesus, who was a good and just man, if indeed it is necessary to call such a one a man and not God, trouble never left the land of Judea.
(I'd like to add that it's interesting that this makes sense if Malalas were referring to pseudo-Hegesippus, who does say words to that effect. Though I haven't found any evidence that he had read pseudo-Hegesippus.)
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:39 PM   #36
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Better check on of the many lists of apostles. James brother of John is not same as James, brother of Jesus.
You're operating on more than one not-so-secure assumption:

1) that Josephus correctly identifies the James of Ant. XX as the brother of "Jesus called Christ". The authenticity of this passage has been questioned both here and elsewhere many times. I am not saying it is inauthentic, but I am questioning its authenticity.

2) that the author of Acts has historical data showing that a James, the brother of John, who was distinct from a James, the brother of Jesus, was beheaded by Herod. That is also what I am calling into question.
Luke/Acts never mentions any James, brother of Jesus.
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:13 AM   #37
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Luke/Acts never mentions any James, brother of Jesus.
Right, that's what I'm saying--I'm not sure it's safe to assume that the author of Acts realized any difference between a James, the brother of John, and a James, the brother of the Lord (or was even aware of the existence of the latter).
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